Gardening and Memories

This morning I went out to start planting the shrubs I had chosen to replace the rosebushes my daughter had lost to gophers.  Just the thought of having your landscape eaten by gophers was a new one to me.
As I started to dig the first hole, I realized I had the wrong tools.

A hand spade and small shovel would not work.  I had not dug in dirt this hard since I had tried to get some dirt for an experiment in the frozen tundra of Idaho in March of 2004.  Oh my!  It was time to get out the pick ax and the heavy duty shovel.  As I chopped and dug through the hard clay and rocks, my thoughts went to the pioneers that had gone to climates like this and had to create fields to grow crops.  Well, just the few holes I dug were tiring, can't even begin to put myself in their shoes.  Hats off to the pioneers!

My young padawan was disappointed when I informed her that the tools would put her in danger and she would have to wait until we were ready to put the plant in the ground... Oh wait! That wasn't true... What do you have to do when planting in Gopher Land? Why yes, you have to build root protectors called gopher baskets. That means, if you are cheap like me, wire cutters and chicken wire.
(Yes, I was sitting on the job. With the slant of the yard, it was easier to keep my balance.)
Nope, young padawan, you will have to trim the dead blooms off the Butterfly Bush to make it pretty, which she did a nice job of.

There was another glitch, since we were buying so late in the season, the plants had become root bound at the small nursery. We found the sized we wanted so it was our choice. I just added some special TLC and Super Thrive. 
Things went fairly well today, I finished the bed next to the driveway.  The youngster that just had her tonsils out came out to inspect... Hey!  I'm not done! It's not that bad. (smile)
Photo courtesy of the older sister who needed something to do. ;) 

Tomorrow, we tackle the front beds.  Think I will keep my hat on and wear a cooling neck band. Since it is smaller plants, the young padawan should be able to dig a hole or two before she gets too tired.